On conflict resolution in church:is it right for a believer to go to court?


By Pastor Jasper

Luke 12:57-59  “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”

To confront means to deal with a problem or difficult situation.

To confront also could mean to make someone face a difficult person. Confrontation is a normal part of communication within relationships, and is essential for constructive progression of that relationship.

So let us look at the Biblical way to confront a person. Why is confrontation so scary? As sinners, we spend much of our time hiding from, excusing, or blaming others for our sin. In Genesis 3: 8-13 Adam and Eve knew that they had disobeyed God, as they were hiding from Him. We also see excuses being made and some level of blaming taking place.

Sinners (Which we all are) don’t feel comfortable when their lives are under inspection. We tend to be better at seeing the speck in the eye of our neighbour than the log in our own eyes (Mathew 7:1-5)

We dread confrontation as we don’t like to look at our sin, but also because of the unbiblical and troublesome way we’ve seen it handled. Confrontation is often marred by improper judgment of the person or situation. Confrontation is often always done without love which should not be so. The problem is that confrontation often takes place within a non-existent or broken relationship and people tend to demand an immediate change rather than knowing that it is a process for a person to change and it does not happen overnight.

What is the purpose of confrontation? To challenge someone to stop and reconsider their words and actions especially if they contradict the word of God. For example, if someone teaches their children that they have to wait until marriage before having sex, but they are committing adultery in their own marriage.

The other purpose of confrontation is to help people see the contradictions and consequences in what they have said and done. It is to encourage them to take responsibility for words and actions which often motivate them to change their behaviour.

2 Samuel 12:1-16. Nathan was called by God to confront King David. Surely, David knew the law of the Lord. Why wasn’t he conscience-stricken? Why wasn’t he eaten up with conviction of sin? Why did he need someone to stand before him and point out what should have been so obvious? This is God’s commitment to intervene in blindness and rebellion with his redemptive grace.

What a powerful reminder of our need for intervention! We also need God to raise up people who are willing to accept the hard job of helping us to see ourselves as God does.

Hebrews 3:12-15. See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As it has just been said: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.

Being a Christian does not mean that we are free of spiritual blindness or the potential for self-deception. As long as there is indwelling sin, spiritual blindness and self-deception will exist. We all need daily encouragement so that indwelling sin would not blind us.

People should always have a motive of love when confronting a person and not anger, frustration or insecurity otherwise the person may feel criticised, condemned and rejected. The goal of confrontation is to benefit the person, not me. Remember something, the context must be in trust-you need to earn the right to confront relationship building.

You may ask, but what are the proper elements in biblical confrontation? We will look at nine biblical models of confrontation. Firstly, examine your heart. Confrontation always begins with you. Be sure that you have dealt with your anger, impatience, self-righteousness and bitterness. When we start with our own confession, we are in a much better place to lead others to confess.


Secondly, note your calling. Confrontation is not based on your opinion of the person. Your job is to faithfully present the message of God. Your goal is to help people see and accept God’s view of them.

Thirdly, check your attitude. Are your words spoken in kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, compassion and love?

Failure to do this will hinder God-honouring, change-producing confrontation. I am sure a person can listen when we are humble and gentle while speaking unlike screaming to prove how wide our mouth can open.

Point number four, own your own faults. You must enter moments of confrontation with a humble recognition of who we really are. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” As we admit our own need for the Lord’s forgiveness, we are able to be patient and forgiving with the one to whom God has called us to minister.

Key number five .Use words wisely. Effective confrontation demands preparation, especially of our words. We need to ask God to help us use words that carry his message, not get in the way of it.

The sixth point is that, always reflect on the scriptures. The Bible guides what we say and how we say it. You should enter confrontation with specific understanding of what scripture says about the issues at hand.

Nevertheless, key number seven is very important. Always be prepared to listen. We need to give the person an opportunity to talk since we can’t look into his heart or read his mind or her mind. Most relationships and marriages are drowning like a sinking Titanic ship because each partner cannot give each other chance to listen. Our people are also dying because other doctors or nurses cannot have time to listen when a sick person is crying. Road accidents, claiming lives because our drivers fail to listen when the traffic officers say do not over speed or do not text messages with your phone while driving. Most political leaders were removed by people because they could not listen to the wishes of people who voted them. So please listen!

Point number eight. Always grant time for a response. Give the Holy Spirit time to work. Change is usually a process, so don’t expect the person to confess and repent in one sitting.

Lastly, encourage the person with the gospel. It is the awesome grace of God, his boundless love, and His ever-present help that give us a reason to turn from our sin. Romans 2:4 ….God’s kindness leads to repentance.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”(Psalm 46:1-3)

May God give you wisdom to confront! As you use the biblical formula I am sure growth shall appear in your relationship. If your partner, workmate or any of your close family members is doing wrong, my advice is that, there is hope for a biblical confrontation to resolve your issues and relationships shall be healthy with the biblical confrontation. Remember to forgive, do not carry bitterness in your heart. The goal of confronting is to restore a brother or sister and not to destroy a person, bearing in mind that we all stumble and always treat others the way you would like to be treated when in contempt.

Do not judge or condemn when confronting. Use your words wisely bearing in mind abusive words won’t gain you any dignity. Now go and resolve your issues freely. Know that you are loved when you are confronted. Always respect people in authority and above all your parents and elderly people among you, do not be bitter when confronted in love.


Contact for questions on 0966487131 or jasper.mutale@yahoo.com

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